Kuwait sits at a key and strategically valuable point of the Arabian Gulf; a vital trading post whose control has long been desired by those who sought to rule important trade routes.
The long history of Kuwait is marked with tales of conflict and battles. This is not untypical for the history of many countries; but in Kuwait’s case it is easy to see that on many occasions it has been the defender rather than the aggressor.
Kuwait has always vigorously, fearlessly and victoriously defended its sovereignty and has often led the way in times of crisis with its insistence on diplomacy and non-confrontation. The country is seen at the heart of international and regional treaties that seek to ensure peace, the first major one of which was signed with Saudi Arabia and Iraq in 1922 - the Al-Aqeer Agreement.
Another perhaps less obvious aggressor is the climate. As the world’s hottest inhabited city and a country virtually devoid of any natural fresh water, it is to Kuwait’s supreme credit that it has secured ample resources for the nation and its people in order to achieve growth amidst a stable social environment.
The solidarity of the Kuwaiti nation, and a true test of its standing in the international community, was proven most recently in 1990 with Saddam’s unlawful and barbaric occupation of Kuwait’s sovereign land.
In 1991, after seven months of suppression under enforced Iraqi rule, Kuwait was liberated by a coalition of forces supported by Kuwaiti troops and their allies from other Arab nations and led by the United States and their Western partners.
Once again Kuwait had proven that it will stand strong and united in the face of all challenges.
529 BC Al-Monther Bin Ma Al-Sama defeats Ali Harith Al-Kandi at Wara, in the area now known as Kuwait
633 AD Arab Muslims, under the leadership of Khaled Bin Al- Waleed, defeat the Persians at Kathma in the battle of That Alsiasli
1783 The Rigga naval battle against Beni Kaab the rulers of Arabistan - Kuwait victorious
1798 A fortified wall, to protect the city from invasion, is erected
1814 A second defensive wall is constructed
1871 Kuwait loses much of its fleet of pearl diving ships in heavy storms while off the coast of India and Oman, with the loss of many lives
1914 Kuwait hosts its first international conference, the Subahiya Conference
1920 The Al-Jahra Battle
1920 A third defensive wall is constructed
1922 Al-Aqeer Treaty is signed between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq
1934 Heavy rain on 7th December washes away many of the city’s homes
1942 Fresh water is discovered underground at Abdaly
1953 The country’s first water refining plant opens
2nd August, 1990 Saddam invades and occupies Kuwait. The world protests and nations come to Kuwait’s support
26th February, 1991 Kuwait is liberated; the allied forces easily push Saddam’s troops back over the border
First published in Men's Passion issue #35 November 2011